By Ron Kampeas and Philissa Cramer
BUFFALO — The man charged with killing 10 people at a Buffalo, NY supermarket on May 14 allegedly was motivated by an online manifesto attributed to himself, Payton Gendron, 18.
Gendron was arrested at the scene and later charged with first-degree murder.
The manifesto says that the attack was spurred by the theory that a tide of immigrants is crowding out white populations in western countries. The manifesto, also steeped in anti-Semitism, says that Jews are the real problem, but “they can be dealt with in time.”
The Tops supermarket, located just a few miles from the Canadian border, was chosen because it is in an area with many black residents, the manifesto says.
Eleven of the 13 people shot there were black.
The US Justice Dept. is investigating the shooting as “a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“Horrified by the #Buffalo shooting which is apparently motivated by #anti-Semitism and #racism,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted on May 14.
“The rhetoric that fuels hate-filled conspiracies has to stop . . . These are the consequences of conspiracies going unchecked.”
The theory in the manifesto is known as “Great Replacement” and has united white supremacists across borders in their hatred of Jews and immigrants.
Replacement theory has inspired multiple anti-Semitic and extremist attacks, including the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in which 11 Jews were murdered; the 2019 attack on a New Zealand mosque that killed 51; and the 2019 massacre at a Texas Wal-Mart that targeted Hispanic immigrants.
In 2017, white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, Va. infamously chanted “Jews will not replace us.”
Other, radical Islamist views have inspired other mass shootings, such as the one in Ft. Hood, Texas; and still other mass shooters acted on a variety other extreme grievances.
The manifesto cites the perpetrator of the New Zealand massacre as a chief inspiration and says that its author learned about the dangers of immigration from online research, including on 4chan.
In one passage in the manifesto allegedly written by Gendron, the writer asks, “Why is diversity said to be our greatest strength?”
Structured largely in a question-and-answer format and accompanied by collected memes and internet citations, the manifesto states that the author is driven by hatred of Jews.
The author says he departs from many white supremacists in concluding that Jews are, for the most part, white. But, citing pages of quotations from the Talmud, he says Jews are polluted by learning that “they are G-d’s chosen people and they are permitted to hate and exploit the goyim” or non-Jews, and to engage in pedophilia.
“Are you an anti-semite? YES!!” the manifesto reads in one place. Later, the author answers the question, “Why attack immigrants when the Jews are the issue?” The answer reads, in part: “They can be dealt with in time.”
The manifesto cites George Soros, the Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire and philanthropist as “majorly responsible for the destruction of our White culture.”
It also says that Jews are driving the rise of critical race theory.
The alleged shooter broadcast his attack on Twitch, a streaming platform for video game enthusiasts also used by the man who attacked a synagogue in Halle, Germany, in 2019. That attack broadcast for 35 minutes; Twitch said it had removed footage of the Buffalo attack sooner.
The manifesto says Halle showed the author “that there is enough time to capture everything important.”
The Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo is among the many local and national organizations providing support to people in the city of approximately 250,000; it is making mental health services available.